Pedulla, Mutts power Virginia Tech past Minnesota, 67-57

Virginia Tech def. Minnesota 67-57 (WSLS)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Sean Pedulla scored 17 points and Justyn Mutts scored 16 and Virginia Tech beat Minnesota 67-57 in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game Monday night.

Pharrel Payne dunked to pull the Golden Gophers into a 22-all tie with more than six minutes left in the first half, but Pedulla drilled a 3 to spark a 13-0 Virginia Tech run, scoring all but two points in the outburst, as the Hokies cruised into intermission with a 39-27 advantage.

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Jamison Battle’s 3-pointer more than a minute into the second half briefly cut the Minnesota deficit to nine points, but the Hokies built on the lead and pushed it to 20 points on Mutts’ layup with just under five minutes to play, 63-43. The Gophers closed the game with a 13-4 run, getting within 10 points on a layup by Joshua Ola-Joseph with four seconds left.

Pedulla was 8 for 13 for the Hokies (7-1) who are undefeated through five home games this season. Mutts grabbed nine rebounds. Virginia Tech outrebounded Minnesota 42-27 and had 11 on offense.

Ta’lon Cooper and Payne each had 13 points to lead Minnesota (4-2) and Ola-Joseph added 11. The Gophers got 27 of their 57 points from their bench.

Minnesota opens the Big Ten season Sunday at No. 5 Purdue.

Virginia Tech opens the ACC season Sunday when it plays host to No. 18 North Carolina.

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